The 1934 film was the first film to bring real critical success to its star Bette Davis, her over-the-top, theatrical performance was passed over for a Best Actress Oscar nomination, although she was an unofficial write-in candidate.
The RKO film, directed by John Cromwell, tells the story of a club-footed, sensitive artist Philip Carey (Leslie Howard), an Englishman who has been studying painting in Paris for four years, but is advised by his art teacher that his work is mediocre and second-rate, and that he lacks promise. So he returns to London, England to take up studies to become a medical doctor, but his older age and introspection make it difficult for him to keep up in his scholastic work.
In England, he becomes infatuated - and then obsessed by a blonde, lower-class, slatternly and vulgar, Cockney-accented, illiterate tearoom waitress named Mildred Rogers (Bette Davis).
April 20, 2016 Subject:
Of Human Bondage
First time I watched this film I got rather bored. A few scenes stuck to my head though and after reflection I decided to watch it again the following day. It is a magical film after all!
The scenes with Sally and her father, Bette Davis and her fire, Leslie Howard as the gent...it goes on and on.
If you can bear with it, this is a golden egg from the golden age of Hollywood.
October 10, 2011 Subject:
A movie to definitely see
I can't say enough about this film, as it is one i grew up with. I had read the Maugham novel and instantly fell in love with the story. When i discovered the film, I was apprehensive at first, but this production surpassed my expectations. I believe this is the movie that coined the phrase "Betty Davis eyes". All the performances live up to Maugham's descriptions. It it one of my favorite films of this period.
May 13, 2011 Subject:
More than just a slattern
...she's an all-out entitlement princess in all her blazing glory ("Doesn't it make any difference to you?" "Nao. You don't take me out, someone else will."), played to the hilt by Betty Davis, who performed all of her roles with maximum intensity. Of course, Leslie Howard's character (Phillip) has it coming to him, as he disses her on their first meeting at the tea house. But watching the quickly developing dynamic—where he doesn't realize that the more he chases her, the less she respects him, and the more she gives him the cold shoulder, the more he begins to grovel at her feet—was too painful for me to watch, so I bailed out early. I've seen enough of that in real life; why would I want to sit through it in a movie?
Like Rain (also here on IA), the screenplay for Of Human Bondage was adapted from the writings of William Somerset Maugham. There can scarcely be better material from which to adapt a (screen)play. OHB is said to have been his best work. The Wikipedia article on the novel includes a plot summary that makes interesting background for the movie.
No rating, since I didn't stay with it.
April 1, 2010 Subject:
Good flick. Great to see Betty this young. At this age she wasnt a bad looker. Poor boob. She is a real ball breaker. Im thinking I would drop her like a bad dream but in reality she is exactly like my ex when I was in law school. Dont know how I made it through. What a piece of work. Thanks for the upload! MC
February 20, 2009 Subject:
you can't get cooler then Betty
this movie was very good, Davis dose not disapoint in this movie. She is my favorite actdress. I would watch this one again,I give it 5 stars.
December 30, 2008 Subject:
bette davis :)
she was fantastic in this part :)
i love bette ;*
June 24, 2007 Subject:
Betty Davis eyes
it's funny that for such a small and seeingly delicate woman Betty Davis lets loose with such intensity and fire.This is my all time favorite Betty Davis flick and Lesile Howard isn't chopped liver either he is the perfect weepy but hopeful character you think of when you hear his name.